Norma Kamali: Norma Kamali : How I Built This with Guy Raz When Norma Kamali studied fashion illustration in the 1960s, she never expected to become a designer. So when a job as an airline clerk came along, she was glad to accept it—along with the perk of dirt-cheap flights from New York to London. On those weekend trips abroad, she discovered fashion that was exuberant and eye-catching, so she started loading her suitcase with clothing to sell in the U.S. By the 1970s, she was designing her own pieces out of a shop in New York; soon she was selling them to celebrities like Cher and Bette Midler. Today, after more than 50 years in the fashion industry, Norma Kamali is known for iconic designs like the sleeping bag coat, and the bold red bathing popularized by Farah Fawcett.

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Norma Kamali: Norma Kamali

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Norma Kamali: Norma Kamali

Norma Kamali: Norma Kamali

Norma Kamali: Norma Kamali

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Norma Kamali is an iconic fashion designer.
Kristen Uroda for NPR

When Norma Kamali studied fashion illustration in the 1960s, she never expected to become a designer. So when a job as an airline clerk came along, she was glad to accept it—along with the perk of dirt-cheap flights from New York to London.

On those weekend trips abroad, she discovered fashion that was exuberant and eye-catching, so she started loading her suitcase with clothing to sell in the U.S. By the 1970s, she was designing her own pieces out of a shop in New York; soon she was selling them to celebrities like Cher and Bette Midler.

Today, after more than 50 years in the fashion industry, Norma Kamali is known for iconic designs like the sleeping bag coat, and the bold red bathing popularized by Farah Fawcett.